The Forget Me Not Walk is so special to me

Amanda with her late husband, Jonathan, who she will be remembering during Cancer Focus NI’s Forget Me Not Walk on Sunday, June 30.

Bangor woman urges public to join cancer charity walk

A BANGOR woman who lost her husband to a rare form of cancer is encouraging the public to join her in a special walk dedicated to the memory of those lost to the disease.

Amanda Legge lost her beloved Jonathan at just 41 years of age following the discovery of a rare form of cancer of the bile ducts.

In memory of Jonathan, Amanda is hoping people will help her support Cancer Focus’s Forget Me Not Walk on Sunday, June 30.

Sadly, only 15 months after his diagnosis, Jonathan passed away on February 11, 2022,and in those intervening years Amanda credits Cancer Focus Northern Ireland for helping get her through that incredibly difficult time.

It will be Amanda’s third time participating in the Forget Me Not Walk, at which she will be joined by long-time friends Neil and Louise.

The walk, from Crawfordsburn to Bangor, will celebrate the memory of loved ones who have passed away from cancer, with Amanda describing it as ‘so special’ to her.

“The Forget Me Not Walk is so special to me, even though I am always thinking of Jonathan it means so much to have that time to talk about him, share stories, laugh and cry,” she said.

“People forget this is still new to me, even two years on I am still adjusting to my life without Jonathan. Walking in his memory for an amazing local cancer charity and raising vital funds to support their services that I have been able to benefit from.”

After Amanda’s world ‘came crashing down’ on her, following Jonathan’s diagnosis, his treatment at first appeared to be successful, with chemotherapy reducing the size of the tumours.

But when scans later showed the progression of the disease, Jonathan’s health deteriorated rapidly.

Amanda looks back at that time with a positive outlook, reminiscing about special moments throughout treatment. She said: “Thanks to the treatment, we were able to enjoy time together and make some happy memories. We had an amazing holiday travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way in a camper van. It was wonderful being able to feel ‘normal’ for three weeks. I cherished every single second of that time, and it still brings a smile to my face.”

Following his untimely death, Cancer Focus NI was a lifesaver for Amanda.

 “I don’t have any children or siblings, and my family live far away so after Jonathan’s passing, Cancer Focus NI were a vital lifeline for me,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to avail of their counselling service which offered me huge support and comfort at a time when my world was spinning. Having someone to hold my hand and talk to every week was so important to my grieving process,” she said.

As part of her contact with the charity Amanda also attended an art therapy course, around the first anniversary of Jonathan’s passing.

“Knowing Cancer Focus NI was still there for me a year on when everything was hitting home for me again was amazing. I wasn’t particularly arty, but it was great fun and lovely to have a chat with other people in a similar situation,” she added.

Cancer Focus services are in high demand, and make a huge difference to people, just like Amanda, across Northern Ireland.

Just £213 could pay for four hours of family support for a family dealing with the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis, and the local cancer charity relies on the support and fundraising from the public to continue to provide these vital support services.

To find out more about the Forget Me Not Walk on Sunday, June, 30 contact https://cancerfocusni.org/event/forgetmenotwalk/ where you can register to take part.